Blog: MCA DNA

Quotable Artist: Takashi Murakami

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Thanks to the internet and the proliferation of social media, the gap between artists and audiences is closing. The mystery of what artists think, especially in regards to their artwork, can become more accessible. We've been collecting some of Takashi Murakami's most memorable quotes about his work and process as featured in Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, some of which are featured below.

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At 36 years old, I got gout because I ate noodles every day and [I was] smoking and not sleeping. [It was a] very bad condition for that lifestyle . . . [At] that moment, I was [told] I will die soon. That's why one of my characters, DOB, was dying—puking and shitting, and you know, [it] looks like a mini-antenna thing [that] still wants to grow or still wants to understand the world. But this is a process of dying.

—From an MCA Talk with Michael Darling

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Manga uses [a] Japanese traditional structure to teach the student and to transmit a very direct message. You learn from the teacher by watching from behind his back.

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Installation view, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg, MCA Chicago. Work shown: Takashi Murakami, 69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree (detail), 2013. Acrylic, gold leaf, and platinum leaf on canvas mounted on board; ten panels, overall: 118 1/8 x 393 ¾ in. (300 x 1,000 cm). Collection Lune Rouge. © 2013 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago